Claudia Hawkes … organised an inter-college squash competition. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
The initiative of a Year 11 St Matthew’s Collegiate pupil proved a hit with budding squash players.
Claudia Hawkes, who is a B-Grade player for the Red Star Club, organised a six-week squash competition involving 30 pupils from three Masterton colleges.
The tournament wrapped up on Monday night with the final round of matches.
Hawkes said the aim of the event was to try and attract new players to squash and she was surprised by the response.
She said she approached the PE departments of the schools about each fielding a team of three for such a tournament.
“The response was overwhelming with Wairarapa College putting in three teams, Rathkeale five, and St Matthew’s four.”
The teams were made up of those who have played, never played, and international students. The draws were mixed gender.
“The highest-grade players we had were E grade and we went down to J grade players and beginners.”
Hawkes is aiming to run the event again next year and has high hopes for it.
“I can see it expanding. This year was almost like a trial to see how it would run and next year it will run even better than it did this year.”
For the record, the St Matthew’s team of Chelsea Hawkes, Ruby Kyle and Pippa Raleigh were crowned champions.
The competition capped a busy few weeks for Hawkes who is a member of the Wellington Junior Development Squad along with three other Wairarapa players, Hunter Wyeth, Mark Steventon and Brad Goldsworthy.
Hawkes said it involved a lot of specialist training.
“We’re training to be picked for the Wellington team to go the nationals in October, so normally we would have to go to Wellington on Monday night, but seeing there’s a group of us, we’re all B graders, they decided to get coaches over here for us so we didn’t have to travel.”
Hawkes said she had been playing competitively for the past three years.